Russell & Hill, PLLC

Dog bite injuries can be severe

Data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that around 800,000 people seek medical treatment each year across the United States due to dog bite injuries. Dogs have powerful jaws that can inflict significant injuries. It is not uncommon for our attorneys to help clients who have sustained the following due to a dog bite:

  • Severe lacerations or puncture wounds
  • Skin avulsions
  • Finger amputations
  • Crushed or broken bones
  • Significant blood loss
  • Severed veins, arteries, tendons, ligaments, or muscles
  • Infections
  • Significant scarring and disfigurement

Dog bite victims often suffer from significant emotional and psychological trauma as a result of the incident. This is particularly true when the victim is a child. According to the CDC, more than 50% of all dog bite victims are children.


Dog bite laws in Washington and Oregon

Both Washington and Oregon are considered “strict liability” states when it comes to handling dog bite incidents. This is established under Section 16.08.040 of the Revised Code of Washington as well as Oregon Revised Statutes section 31.360.

A strict liability dog bite law means that the owner of the dog can be held liable for any injuries caused by the bite regardless of whether or not the dog has ever bitten anybody before or shown a propensity to be aggressive. The incident need not have occurred because of the dog owner’s negligence for the victim to recover compensation. We typically look to the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance for coverage on these cases.

Strict liability dog bite laws generally apply as long as the victim was on public property or lawfully on private property at the time the dog bite incident occurred. Any person who intentionally provokes a dog and subsequently gets bitten will likely not be able to recover compensation for their injuries.

It is important to point out that dog owners will sometimes not be held strictly reliable for any injuries caused by their dog that are not related to an actual bite. For example, if a dog runs into somebody where dogs are not required to be on leashes, knocks them over, and causes a broken arm, this may not fall under the strict liability requirements.


Contact a Pacific Northwest dog bite injury lawyer today

If you or somebody you care about has been bitten and injured by a dog, you need to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At Russell & Hill, PLLC, our qualified attorneys are standing by to conduct a complete investigation into the case and help you obtain maximum compensation. This can include coverage of:

  • All bite-related medical expenses
  • Lost income if you cannot work
  • Any household out-of-pocket expenses you incur
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Loss of quality of life damages
  • Scarring and disfigurement damages

When you need a Pacific Northwest dog bite injury attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 425-212-9165.


Dogs have incredibly powerful jaws that can inflict severe damage on the human body. Unfortunately, dog bite injuries are not uncommon in and around our area. We handle cases throughout Washington. We know dog bite victims need help, which is why we dedicate our resources to investigating the incident, determining liability, and ensuring our clients receive the compensation they deserve. We find the dog owner’s insurance coverage to get you a fair settlement.


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